Today begins the annual recognition of Banned Books Week.
Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries, bookstores and bloggers around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.
In my small way of supporting this week, here is a list of the top 10 most challenged and/or banned books of last year:
- Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
- Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
- Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
- And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious view point, sexually explicit
- Looking For Alaska by John Green. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
- Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz. Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
- Beloved by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
Other books that have been banned or challenged over the years include the Harry Potter series, the classic "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, the popular "Hunger Games" series, F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, and so many, many more.
Do yourself a good deed this week, and go out and find a banned book to read! I think that you will be very glad you did!
For more information on Banned Books Week, check out the American Library Association's website at www.ala.org